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#1 NCReatta

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 01:04 PM

Found this on the web:

Popular Mechanics - Google Books
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#2 Recian

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 02:14 PM

looks like the cadillac in there has some reatta styling to it. Also i like that kit car listed further down. If it did use the 73-79 civic CVCC engine it'll last forever
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#3 KDirk

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:06 PM

Heh,

Well, the Cadillac Callisto of course is what became the Allante, that much is clear from the illustration and writeup given. The drawing atop the article of the Reatta however is quite a bit different from actual production, and bears little resemblance to various other renderings of the Reatta during the planning stages. I guess they didn't have a finished body at press time, so just "faked" what they expected it to be.

A German 5 speed in the Reatta? Seems they did have aspirations for high performance, but is strange that the presumed turbo versions would have an automatic and be based on a smaller engine instead of the 3800. None of which ever came to fruition of course. Performance between the Fiero and Corvette? Well, that is actually pretty close to the truth considering the neutered Corvette's of the early/mid 1980's.

The part about the Chrysler/Maserati partnership was also interesting, as what actually came out it (the TC) is not much at all like what is outlined in the article, and quite different from the illustrations of either of the two cars that were planned.

Personally, as far as the Reatta is concerned, I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I'm not sure I'd be as enamored of this car if they had more closely followed the original plan, especially the 5 speed. I like luxury cars much more than sports cars, and a manual just doesn't appeal to me at all. I likely wouldn't have owned a Reatta (or two) if they had come with the 5 speed, but that's just me.

A turbo 3800 would have been acceptable, with a decent automatic that could mate up to it and not get shredded. Regrettably, that combo just wasn't ready in time to make it into the Reatta. What might have been.

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#4 Ronnie

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 04:12 PM

Personally, as far as the Reatta is concerned, I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I'm not sure I'd be as enamored of this car if they had more closely followed the original plan, especially the 5 speed. I like luxury cars much more than sports cars, and a manual just doesn't appeal to me at all. I likely wouldn't have owned a Reatta (or two) if they had come with the 5 speed, but that's just me.

KDirk

I pretty much agree. I have always thought the Reatta might have looked even better if they had used the '88 Fiero front end on it . I had an '88 Fiero Formula and I really liked it on the outside but it was too small for me on the inside. When I found my Reatta I was looking for a bigger version of the Fiero and the Reatta has filled the bill quite nicely but I do like the Formula front end better. From the rear and side I like the looks of both equally well.

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#5 Recian

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 04:51 PM

the 5 speed idea should have been considered in the reatta and in doing so they could hve put a turbo setup on the car just give it a stronger clutch. A smaller engine wouldnt have been an option in the reatta seeing as it's too heavy of a car to put anyhing smaller in it. It would have been worse than the 80s vettes which were neutered largely in part due to the reason most cars in the 80s went from awesome to blah is emissions garbage.
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#6 KDirk

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 07:35 PM

Ronnie:

While I was never a big fan of the Fiero (I just dislike small cars because they are cramped and not really safe in light of the big vehicle craze) I will admit it was a sharp looking car at the time, especially from the front. I do like the Reatta front end also, though at times I think the cornering lamps could have been executed a little bit better.

Still, I am happy with the finished product that Buick put out. Sure, it could have been better in some regards, but relative to other GM offerings of the time, it was a vast improvement over the norm. I'll even say that I really like the 88/89 interior and instrumentation, despite it being over the top (for the time). That is probably the most maligned part of the cars design based on all the articles I've read. The digital/CRT setup is something you either love or hate it seems. This is further borne out by the design change in 1990.

Recian:

I won't argue that the 5 speed shouldn't have been an option. It should have been, along with a turbocharged 3800. They tested the turbo on some prototypes, but it never made it to production. This combo would have helped sales and made the Reatta appealing to a larger segment of the market.

That said, the way the article reads anyway, the 5 speed would have been standard equipment (with no mention of an automatic mated to the 3800, auto transmissions only for the briefly mentioned smaller turbocharged engines). I think this plan would have killed the Reatta even faster, as the auto version would have outsold the 5 speed easily, and not having the 3800 in it with the 4T440/4T60 would have made it sell more poorly than it did, in addition to being underpowered, turbo notwithstanding.

So, really my point was that given what the article claims was planned, I am glad Buick chose the path they did instead. They still should have taken it to the next level with a turbo 3800 series 1, but the auto transmission was the hangup. By the time they had an one that could do the job, the Reatta was already headed to the list of canceled projects. Yeah, missed it by that much....

KDirk
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#7 padgett

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 07:41 PM

Similar problem: the TDOHC GP that came later did have a Getrag option but do not think it was ever used behind a 3.8. Buick was not about to certify a one-off drivetrain just for a low volume car, it would have had to go through the whole economy/emissions testing cycle which isn't cheap.

Have often wondered if it weighs as much as it does to get it into the same weight class as the Riviera so it could leverage that testing.

It amazes me that the Reattae get better mpg than my Fiero GT even with 1,000 lbs and 1,000 ccs more.

#8 Recian

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 07:56 PM

on the mpg claim ive heard it has alot to do with the aerodynamics of the reatta. yes the fiero is aerodynamic but i think the reatta is better in that respect and the 3800 being a sound engine helps too. Also the reatta pulls very low rpms at hwy speeds. Around 1800 isnt it? idk since mine never would engage o/d and it ran about 2100 rpms. My 04 hyundai is a 2.0L 4cyl 5 speed and at 55-60 range it's pulling over 2600rpm. If i stay under 55 and keep the rpms under 2500 that car will get 35-40mpg but if I go to 55-60 (2600rpm) it gets 29. That has a big effect on mpg keeping the engine in it's "prime" torque/mpg range when at hwy speeds
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#9 Ronnie

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 08:57 PM

Kevin, I like the interior layout in my '88 but I would like it much better if it had the '90 model IPC. I like the sweeping gages better than just the MPH readout that my '88 has.

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#10 padgett

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:11 PM

Those "sweeping" gauges are opomised to keep everything in the middle, the 88-89 gives you real numbers.

#11 blue72beetle

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:36 PM

Those "sweeping" gauges are opomised to keep everything in the middle, the 88-89 gives you real numbers.


I have a hard time believing that. On the gauges screen in my 89, the temp never goes above 197, even in the record upper 90's we've had here lately. I thought these engines ran up to 220 or something like that?
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#12 Ronnie

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:41 PM

Those "sweeping" gauges are opomised to keep everything in the middle, the 88-89 gives you real numbers.

Yea, even though they aren't too accurate, I like them because they look more like what you would expect in a sports coupe. The IPC in my '88 looks like it should be in a LeSabre. Would be nice to have the '90 IPC and the touch screen as well.

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#13 NCReatta

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:41 PM

I have a hard time believing that. On the gauges screen in my 89, the temp never goes above 197, even in the record upper 90's we've had here lately. I thought these engines ran up to 220 or something like that?


Someone must've changed the thermostat at some point to a lower-temp one.. My '89 runs between 202 and 206 around town. And it's been hot here. Triple digit temps for two weeks straight. Plus humidity. :eek::(
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#14 NCReatta

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:44 PM

Would be nice to have the '90 IPC and the touch screen as well.


That.. would be incredible!:cool:

One of you electronics geniuses should get cracking on that. ;):rolleyes::cool:
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#15 blue72beetle

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:45 PM

Would be nice to have the '90 IPC and the touch screen as well.


^^ This in a vert would be The Ultimate Reatta.
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#16 Ronnie

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:49 PM

^^ This in a vert would be The Ultimate Reatta.

If has been done. I believe Steve posted photos here showing it.

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#17 Booreatta

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:06 PM

I pretty much agree. I have always thought the Reatta might have looked even better if they had used the '88 Fiero front end on it . I had an '88 Fiero Formula and I really liked it on the outside but it was too small for me on the inside. When I found my Reatta I was looking for a bigger version of the Fiero and the Reatta has filled the bill quite nicely but I do like the Formula front end better. From the rear and side I like the looks of both equally well.



I agree it is too small on the inside. I still own my GT and I cant stand to drive it....Is that you in the photo, Its nice to see what everybody on the forum looks like
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#18 Bushwack

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:19 PM

After reading the article (and other articles in the past on GM products from concept through assembly), GM has the reputation of never completing a design. I think it was Bob Lutz who most recently blamed the bean counters for not allowing design/engineering to see a model mature. The Reatta was one of many cars that is a prime example of the bean counters interfering with what should have been a statement car for Buick at the time (just like the Miata has been and still is for Mazda).

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#19 wws944

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:30 PM

Interestingly, I had the same observation on the Fiero. Back in day, I was at the dealer looking at the GT and thought it a bit claustrophobic. Bought my 944 a few days later.

IMO, they should have hired someone like VDO to put together a nice electronically-driven analog gauge package for the '90 upgrade. In one of the videos, a factory engineer claimed it cost $10m to design and place a new instrument panel into production. Which means if it were used on 10k cars, that would add $1000 to each car. Seems like a very high cost number to me. But not being in the car manufacturing business, what do I know?

Agree with Padgett that not being able to share a 3800/manual tranny combo with another car line for emissions testing probably sealed its fate. OTOH, the DOHC 3.4 with the Getrag 284 would have dropped right in. Likewise the turbo 3.1 that was in the Turbo Grand Prix. But since the Reatta was supposed to showcase Buicks technology (including engines), those options were probably politically untenable.

The mind boggles at the lost opportunities...
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#20 NCReatta

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:00 AM

If has been done. I believe Steve posted photos here showing it.


No, that was just an '88/'89 complete dash in a vert. In other words, the dash was just as you would see it in an '88/'89 coupe.
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